The World Revolves Around Rihanna

Updated 2/24/23

Does the woman ever stop? After making an appearance at the Golden Globes earlier this year, it's been confirmed that Rihanna will perform live at the Oscars. The eight-time Grammy award winner will take the stage and sing "Lift Me Up" her original single from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. It's her first single since the ANTI era.

Rihanna herself is up for an Academy Award for Best Original Song with "Lift Me Up". And the pregnant Fenty queen has been going non-stop since her spectacular Super Bowl appearance on Feb 12th. Recently spotted in Milan this week, Rihanna and her son have been jet-setting and celebrating her birthday with A$AP Rocky.

After close to a decade of silence from Rihanna, it feels like the world is fully restored. Rihanna is back, but did she ever really leave? We've been playing her hits like they came out I can only imagine what will happen when her latest album comes out. If ever.

On February 12, Rihanna took the stage for the first time since 2016 to perform at the highly coveted Super Bowl Halftime Show. Sporting a red jumpsuit and exposing her baby bump – the world’s best-kept secret for the past few months – our Fenty queen quite literally descended from the sky. Opening with her single “Bitch Betta Have My Money,” it didn’t take long for the world to understand that Rihanna is back.

Rumors began to swirl weeks prior to her Super Bowl performance: who would she bring out as a special guest? What would she wear? Where will A$AP Rocky fit into all of this? Will she finally reveal new music?

Some viewers expressed disappointment in the lack of movement from Rihanna herself. Since previous acts like Beyonce were known for elaborate dance numbers, people were wondering where all the pizazz was.

My answer? You try being suspended in mid-air with no restraints or support, performing for a crowd of millions of television viewers. Oh, and you're secretly months pregnant. Even when she’s on the ground, how much movement do we need from her? She’s. Pregnant.

She has famous collaborations with both Jay-Z and the defamed Kanye West on “Run This Town,” as well as Calvin Harris with “We Found Love.” And let us not forget the Drake saga with “What’s My Name” and “Work.” But Rihanna doesn’t necessarily need anyone to come and guest star for her. She’s Rihanna: always the main event, no backup needed.

Rihanna will do what she wants, when she wants. And being that she is the undisputed ruler, we have to accept.

One of the more controversial tidbits of a Super Bowl Halftime performance show is that the artists don’t typically get paid. While the NFL is a billion dollar industry, it does err on the side of strange that they can’t shell out a few million for their performers – especially when Rihanna garnered 118.7 million viewers – 5 million more than the actual game – and the second most watched Halftime performance ever.

The NFL argues that the performer gets more exposure, and thus sales. With such a huge platform like the Halftime Show, they aren’t necessarily wrong.

The world welcomed Rihanna back with open arms. Ever since the performance, she has skyrocketed back into popularity (not that she ever left), topping the charts with no new album or single.

Since then, Billboard reported Rihanna earned her biggest streaming week ever following the Super Bowl – up 150% with 166 million streams. She became the seventh act in the last 50 years to chart five albums in the top 50 on the Billboard 200 simultaneously, ANTI being in the top 10. She’s the sixth most-streamed artist globally on Spotify with 77 million monthly listeners.

Her Fenty Beauty brand has once again been selling out online after a quick flash of her Invisimatte Instant Setting + Blotting Powder during her set. Searches rose 833% following her performance. The impact of her performance was gargantuan: she became the number one most streamed artist, gained 3 million Instagram followers, and sold out products like her Plush Puddin’ Lip Mask. It earned Fenty $5 million in Media Impact Value alone.

She’s now the face of the most recent British Vogue issue alongside A$AP Rocky and her son. Inside, she teases that not releasing music this year would be ridiculous. The question is, do we believe her? And are we ready to get hurt again?

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